The Maywood Academy Nighthawks lost March 3rd’s away game against the Fowler High School Redcats with a score of 52-41. This was the first round game of the CIF State Boys Basketball Championships Division 5 Tournament.
The starters for Maywood were Sebastian Villareal, Rasheed Roman, Joshua Aguilera (captain), Brian Gracian (captain), and Damien Olmos (captain).
The Fowler starters were Jozhua Barela, Mitchell Uriarte, Lucas Guitterez, Amneet Basra, and Japhaam Kahlo.
Maywood Academy (#11 seed) traveled to Fowler, CA to play against Fowler (#6 seed).
The Nighthawks were promised a nice, spacious charter bus for the 5 hour drive and were surprised to find out that they will be traveling on a regular school bus; it was just slightly bigger than the normal ones. They embarked on their long, hot, and uncomfortable bus ride at approximately 1:30pm and arrived at Fowler at 6:10pm.
Villareal and Uriarte bobbled the ball at tip-off, causing Barela from Fowler to get the first jump ball of the game.
At minute 7:11, Villareal committed the first foul of the game. Kahlo made one of his two free throw attempts. Immediately afterwards, Villareal got a violation which led to another successful free throw shot by Kahlo.
Roman was the first to hit a three pointer from both teams and was the first to put points on the board for Maywood.
At minute 5:28 Coach Delgado got a technical foul because he was “not the coach” according to one of the referees. He had failed to show up to the meeting for coaches and captains, a few minutes before the game began. He was not allowed to coach his team throughout the game. Instead he had to let his assistant coach, Coach Ivan, take over and relay Delgado’s messages to the team. As a result, Barela shot two free throws but only made one. The score was now 05-03
Gracian hit another three pointer at minute 3:10, followed by a two-pointer by Roman a few seconds later.
At 2:03 left, Gracian hit yet another three-pointer.
There were a lot of travels that were called in this quarter but many were missed.
Maywood was leading at the end of the first quarter with a score of 16-14, fouls were 3-2.
Julian Lopez was the first to score at minute 6:51.
De Leon quickly responded by making a layup, the score was 16-18.
At 5:43, Alcala made his first two points of this postseason.
The second quarter ended with Fowler leading 32-26, fouls were 6-5.
Fowler had possession of the ball going into the third quarter.
Once again, both teams committed a lot of travels. There were also many turnovers from both teams, more specifically on Maywood. This was surprising to many Nighthawk supporters because it was something they never did consecutively in a game.
Around the 40 second mark, Aguilera was dropped by a Redcat player but no foul was called. This happened various times, but the referees refused to acknowledge it.
The third quarter came to an end with Fowler on top with 41-35, fouls were 2-1.
Going into the final quarter, Maywood had possession of the ball.
This quarter was full of fouls, travels, and turnovers for both teams, but Maywood was being targeted the most.
The score remained the same for the last two minutes of the game.
As the crowd erupted with cheer on both sides of the packed gym, the few Nighthawk fans that went were left feeling devastated.
“We gave it our all, left it all on the court.” Julian Lopez.
“I felt hurt, really hurt, for two reasons; one reason is that it was my last game. I didn’t want it to end like that my senior year. And the other reason is because we were better, we could have won.” stated Damien Olmos, captain of the Varsity team.
Fowler advanced to the second round of this State Championship tournament but lost against Delano High School with a score of 46-62 the following Thursday.
The Maywood Nighthawks may have lost, but they are still Champions! On March 11th, they will be recognized for their amazing accomplishment at Maywood City Hall at 7:00pm.